Personal and professional growth is one of Hill & Wilkinson’s core company values because we believe in the importance of continuous improvement. We provide a variety of learning opportunities for our employees and have designed training programs with this goal at the forefront. One of these programs is Hill & Wilkinson’s LEAD Class.
LEAD stands for Leadership, Excellence, and Development, and was developed around the H&W Values and Ways of doing business. This class is intended to develop current and future leaders by equipping them with the tools needed to continue growing in their leadership journeys the H&W Way.
In this class, employees at various levels of management across different departments met once a month for 20 months to learn about leadership, reflect on their personal journeys, and collaborate with and learn from one another. The goal is to give each individual tools, skills, and confidence to continue to lead their teams well and be lifelong learners at H&W and beyond.
Craig Wedemen, Design-Build Manager, said that this class has given him the ability to learn more about himself, which has helped him understand how he approaches situations and how that impacts others. “I’ve been able to really slow the gameplay down, assess a situation and provide a more thoughtful response versus an emotional or reactive response,” he said. “I’ve also placed a high value in the ‘why’ in whatever I do, which has made me more efficient with the energy I am committing.” He also pointed out that the fundamentals this program instills allow leaders to break through barriers in areas that may have been hindering them from growth. “Some of these areas could be fostering creativity and innovation, leading with emotional intelligence to instill trust and loyalty with employees, and the promotion of inclusion.”
Flora Garcia, Subcontract Manager, said that her biggest takeaway from the class was realizing that there is no one type of personality or position better than another. “We are all leaders in different aspects of our lives,” she said. “Leadership involves people and that requires adaptability and a commitment to serve. I am grateful to Hill & Wilkinson for offering a class like LEAD that goes beyond culture and values. It is a true investment and commitment to their people.”
When asked what advice they would give to anyone aspiring to be a better leader, both Flora and Craig said that a willingness to learn is key. “Be brave and ask for advice,” Flora said, “be vulnerable, and be self-aware, all in service to those around you and your own well-being.” Craig added, “It takes a commitment and investment in yourself to be a well-rounded leader. This means not only identifying your strengths but, just as importantly, your weaknesses. Once you come to terms with those, it is then a commitment and investment to others to help them grow to do the same.”
Congratulations to the 2022 LEAD Class, who recently celebrated their graduation from the program!